"Okay,'' I said. I grabbed Tamar's wrist and pulled her over to a little crook into an empty classroom. "What is going on?"
Tamar averted her eyes. "Nothing," she said. "Everything's fine."
"I'm tired of the lies, Tam," I said, staring her down. "Is it about what Ellie said? Come on, Tam, you can't let that get to you."
"It's not what Ellie said!" Tamar burst out suddenly. I stared at her. Tamar suddenly took a deep breath; as if her outburst had surprised even her. Suddenly tears, flowed freely from her strangely colored eyes. All of a sudden, I let go of all my doubts and placed my arms around her. I hated the feeling that Tam was keeping things from me, but seeing her hurting.... I hated that worse.
Tamar's thin frame shook in my arms as she broke down completely. She was trying to speak through the tears, but I couldn't make anything out.
"What?" I asked, quietly.
"Oh, Tam," I said, pulling her closer. Tears were threatening to flood over my own eyes. "Tam, you have nothing to be sorry for."
Her head nodded against my shoulder. I could feel her, as I held her, shaking and crying, I could feel that something inside her was about to break. I had to be there when it did.
"Ari...oh! Sorry, I didn't .... wow, I'll just... go."
I hadn't heard him come in, so I looked up, surprised to see him standing there. "No, Jake," I said. "It's fine." I led Tamar to an empty desk. "I'll be right back," I said.
Tamar nodded, avoiding my eyes.
I rushed over to Jake and threw my arms around him. "Bad time?" he asked, into my shoulder.
"Sort of,"I mumbled back.
"What's going on?"
"I'm trying to figure that out myself," I said. "She's hiding something, Jake. She's never kept secrets from me before and I worry about her."
"You just have to trust her, Ari," he said. "You just have to have faith. Everything will turn out okay."
"I hope you're right," I said. I turned back to Tamar saying: "Okay, Tam, if you're feeling up to it, let's go to the assembly before --"
But Tamar had gone. Without a trace.